Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Catch-Up Vacation Report 3

Rosie and the kids-- constant motion-- back in Maplewood for a week.
Beautiful vegetables at the farmers' market with Kerstin.  Background is poured diluted acrylic.

On Monday we all went to the park for eclipse viewing!  And here's Abby drawing and telling me about her very recent licking match with her brother.  She drew the brown bird too.

A scene from out in front of Able Baker on the left and skylines sketched on the ferry going across the Hudson to get to the city the circuitous way with Penn Station out of commission for NJT.

Sketching with Nate in the Egyptian section of the Met.  We both love sharwabties.
Some more from the Met, and a page from Monday's eclipse sketches based on comparing pinhole images vs direct viewing thru eclipse glasses.

Backyard fence and gate sketch on the left and Nate's schematic on the right.

It doesn't sound like fun, but Nate and I had a hilarious time organizing his bazillion things into categories for the bins in his bedroom.  This spread illustrates our favorite category:  Angry Scotsmen (objects with no real use but which he is not ready to part with for some unknown reason, such as the Angry Scotsmen mints tin that is empty and can't even be opened, but yet----).

On Saturday we all went walking through a beautiful woods that had  fairy houses in secret places all along the trail.  Abby especially loved the houses and told me which ones to draw.

More fairy houses

Abby's mousie doll with tiny rasta cap I crocheted for her using a crochet hook that Erik fashioned for me out of a wire.  On the right Nate working on his Yetti.

Sadly, we are back in the airport on our way home.  Loved this vacation so much!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Report Day 2

On Sunday we headed to Cape Breton, driving along the southwest coast to see what we could see.  Here's  Andi on a bench at beautiful empty Judique Beach.  A little further along we happened upon a fiddler at a  restaurant/Celtic music interpretive center, where we stopped for a snack and to watch ceilidh dancing and listen to the music.  We turned back afterwards and took a scenic route home, stopping at  Cape George to stand on cliffs and look over the bay.  The little building below is the barn of the house next door to us.

On the left is L, looking a bit like Elvis Presley, whom he does not look like!  On the right is a flowerpot island in the Minas Basin on the Bay of Fundy, at Burncoat Head, where the world's highest and lowest tides occur.  We happened to arrive just before the lowest point of low tide, when we were able to walk out on the red clay bottom of the basin.  After thoroughly exploring Burncoat Head we ate at a local restaurant where the menu suggested that we poutine our fries for $3CD, which some us did.  Poutine, we were told, is thoroughly Nova Scotian, a gravy-like dish involving mushrooms and peas and cheese.

On Tuesday we drove down to out second airbnb near Annapolis Royal, oldest colonial settlement in N America after St Augustine, FL.  Here we are staying in a 150 year old farmhouse on a blueberry farm.  On the left are two old outbuildings with our host below doing her recycling.  On the right Andi and L hang out their laundry.

Wednesday we were lucky enough to be on the waterfront for a festival in Annapolis called Tall Ships.    Several antique ships sailed into the harbor coming from nearby Digby to the accompaniment of WWII planes flying overhead, men in kilts shooting off what might have been muskets, and a local band playing the Canadian national anthem.  The ships then slowly turned around and sailed back out of the harbor on the tide.  We also did a walking tour of old buildings near the waterfront, including an antique shop that has these lovely glass bobbins for embroidery.

Thursday P and T and I explored Bear River, our tiny town, while the others went on a zipline.  There was a coop art gallery as well as a room in the back of the community center that had a historical artifact collection .  Lunch at Myrtle & Rosie's was excellent and the wifi was strong!

Late night game playing on the right--

Random scribbles as we headed out to Digby Neck on Friday.

We took two ferries to get to the end of Digby Neck, and on the left are some ferry people.

At the tip of Digby Neck is Briar Island, remote, uncrowded, rocky with thistles, tomato-like rose hips, amaranth, and so many other plants.  We sat high over the bay and saw whales blowing and breeching!  There were maybe six other people out there.  Seals crowded onto one close-in island.  Gulls and other birds screamed.  

These days are so packed full of discoveries!  On the way home from Digby Neck we passed a sign for Balancing Rock, so naturally we pulled in to the trailhead parking lot, which was empty.  We hiked along a well-documented, mile-long wildflower trail and eventually came to 276 steps ( T and I counted them) that took us down the cliff to a landing platform near the balancing rock!

Here is our group selfie, but the balancing rock is barely visible on the left.  Then we climbed back up the 276 steps, hiked the mile, and headed home.  Tomorrow we leave, and we do not want to!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Report from An Edge, Unedited

The airport at 6:15 in the morning: sleepy. This woman seems to sum up the low key ambience.  I've decided to just photograph each page as it is, see if my haphazard journal-keeping can convey anything about this really wonderful -in -every- way vacation.

Drawing from the window of the plane is exceptionally fine this time.  The high contrast of sunrise helps me see with great clarity with no glasses.

As always when arriving in Maplewood on a school and work  day we head immediately  to the little downtown area for lunch, bookstore, snack at Able Baker.

This trip is in three parts: two days in Maplewood, then a week in Nova Scotia with the NH Diehns, then back to Maplewood for a final week.  On Day 2 we go with E to the well-kept- secret Newark Museum.  Fascinating (at least to me) parka made of translucent whale stomach and seal intestines.  

On the left a Barbara Chase-Ribaud piece, large, heavy black ropey material and rubbery top part, "Legacy of Malcolm X."

On Saturday we fly to Montreal and then on to Halifax.  Plane to Montreal delayed two hours.  Airport challenges ensue.

This mysterious-looking page includes the calculations that T and I make on the way to the airbnb in River John from Halifax.  Crazed from airport adventures and lack of sleep, we amuse ourselves in the back of the van by figuring out the first part of the Maze puzzle book, which T has brought along.
Day 1 in River John we find a stony empty windy lovely besch to play on, wander around the watery neighborhood, make a second trip to the beach, find a grocery store, explore our fantastic 1899 house. B throws a bull's eye on the dart board in the rec room.
More of the immediate area. We love this  uncrowded big-horizon watery place!

The beach at sunset.  Where is everybody else?  We are collecting and skipping stones and climbing all over rocks!  (More Maze calculations)

Day 2 we head up to Cape Breton where we find another gorgeous deserted beach at Judeque.  This one is accessed by a pretty flowery path that has somewhat eerie old buoy floats hanging in trees as blazes.  Bright sun snd cool breezes today, perfection.

Tomorrow:  Days 3 and onward!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Weaning Off of Piggies

The piggies are sleeping alone sometimes now instead of always piling up.  They're more like teenagers who are all about escaping under the fence and hanging out in gangs in the mud ponds.  

Every now and then the mothers roll over for a few minutes and indulge their big babies in some nursing.  More often than not the babies lose interest and wander off alone.  One of these days the pig pasture is going to be empty except for a few pregnant sows, and the whole cycle will start over again.

As for me, we're leaving town this week for a couple of weeks in New Jersey and Nova Scotia; so my next posts will be as big a surprise to me as to you.  Stay tuned!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Lugnasa on the Farm

Lugnasa -- first harvest, ancient beginning- of- the- end- of- summer festival--
These steers are flopped on the ground under some trees taking a little break.  I can sense a shift in the light, a softening of the grip of the heat and humidity--
a distinct lack of interest in mothering in these sows having a snooze in the mud and completely ignoring the rather large baby who is licking grain off his mother's back.  
Lambies are turning into wooly sheep,  piggies have learned how to doze in the mud and go off to college all on their own.  

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Free-Rangers and a Flerd

These hens will not stay inside their newly- reinforced fence.  Life lived on edges in the waning days of summer!